Exploring Somatic Health and Illness: Social Psychological Context



The paper reviews main approaches to the phenomena of health and illness in the context of social psychology. Health and illness are regarded as implementations of one's subjectness in various forms of his/her being, or as a form of social reality. Health is considered a condition for one's self-actualization, while illness can be viewed as reducing both the possible resources for maintaining the ill person's motivational sphere and the means of its realization in the situation of ill body functioning and the related social restrictions. Similarly, health can then be viewed as an objective resource situation in one's life reflecting the psychological 'cost' of health for the realization of individual capabilities, first of all, professional ones. Among the most perspective approaches to the phenomena of health and illness is the systemic and structural approach based on such concepts, as social psychological situation, social and psychological adaptation, inner picture of health and illness, social and individual identity. The paper also describes the concepts of 'illness situation' and 'health situation', along with the principles of their classification.

General Information

Keywords: health phenomenon, illness situation, health situation, inner picture of illness, inner picture of health, health perception, meaning of illness, ill person's identity

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Orlova M.M. Exploring Somatic Health and Illness: Social Psychological Context. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2012. Vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 12–18. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Maria M. Orlova, associate professor at the Chair of Counseling Psychology, Saratov State University, Russia, e-mail: orlova-maria2010@mail.ru



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